Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1564436
 


 



Salmon, Science, and Reciprocity on the Northwest Coast


D. Bruce Johnsen


George Mason University - School of Law; PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

March 3, 2010

Ecology and Society, Vol. 14, No. 2, Art. 43, December 2009
George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 10-14

Abstract:     
Severe depletion of many genetically distinct Pacific salmon populations has spawned a contentious debate over causation and the efficacy of proposed solutions. No doubt the precipitating factor was overharvesting of the commons beginning along the Northwest Coast around 1860. Yet, for millenia before that, a relatively dense population of Indian tribes managed salmon stocks that have since been characterized as “superabundant.” This study investigates how they avoided a tragedy of the commons, where, in recent history, commercial ocean fishers guided by scientifically informed regulators have repeatedly failed. Unlike commercial fishers, the tribes enjoyed exclusive rights to terminal fisheries enforced through rigorous reciprocity relations. The available evidence is compelling that they actively husbanded their salmon stocks for sustained abundance.

Keywords: Alaska, Berkes, Boas, Brealey, Canada, Codere, Columbia River, Dietz, Douglass North, Dumbacher, exclusive tribal rights, Fraser River, Hardin, husbandry, Kareiva, Langdon, Mann, McChesney, Nowak, Ohtsuki, Ostrom, Piddocke, potlatching, resilience, Robert Thomas, Sigmund, Suttles, Trosper

JEL Classification: B10, B20, K32, N00, N51, N52, O13, Q22, Q25, Q26

Accepted Paper Series


Not Available For Download

Date posted: March 5, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Johnsen, D. Bruce, Salmon, Science, and Reciprocity on the Northwest Coast (March 3, 2010). Ecology and Society, Vol. 14, No. 2, Art. 43, December 2009; George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 10-14. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1564436

Contact Information

D. Bruce Johnsen (Contact Author)
George Mason University - School of Law ( email )
3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States
703-993-8066 (Phone)
703-993-8088 (Fax)
PERC - Property and Environment Research Center
2048 Analysis Drive
Suite A
Bozeman, MT 59718
United States

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